Estate farmers boost coffee milling at Meru New KPCU factory


Farmers sort coffee cherries at a factory. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Estate coffee farmers in Meru have started delivering their coffee to the New Kenya Cooperative Union (New KPCU) with officials saying this signalled a fresh start for the organisation.

During a meeting with estate farmers in Meru on Wednesday, Julius Kimathi, technical adviser at the Agriculture ministry, said growers had delivered 2,500 bags of parchment for milling with more expected as the harvesting season kicks off.

“We have now started milling. Farmers should bring their coffee to the mill. Today, we have received 100 bags of coffee from estate farmers. This is the direction we want to take,” he said.

The New KPCU took over the mill from the Meru Coffee Cooperative Union two months ago amid protests from the union.

However, the sticky issues have since been resolved after the co-operative handed over the property, including coffee worth more than Sh40 million to the New KPCU.

Festus Kathendu, chairman of Imenya Coffee Cooperative Society, which comprises estate farmers in the county, said they would support the efforts to revive the ailing sector.